EA has said that DICE's Frostbite 2 engine was initially built for the next-generation of consoles.
Former DICE CEO and now EA Games boss Patrick Soderlund said the following when asked if DICE aimed for better than average PC specs for Battlefield 3:
"Yeah, I’ll be honest with you – Frostbite 2 was built for the next generation. That’s how we started it. We had that in mind and we said, ‘We’re going to have to build something that can scale.’ It doesn’t mean that what you see in Battlefield 3 is the end state. That’s the beginning; that’s where we start and then we go forward. But we have a tech base that makes me feel really confident in how we’re positioned for what’s going to come in the future."
The executive added that Frostbite 2 isn’t simply “tech for the sake of making tech”. Instead, the engine is geared predominately towards gameplay that is based on notable areas of improvement stemming from the earlier titles of DICE.
"Animation was a key component that we said, ‘That ain’t cutting it.’ And how do we not just make a little leap, but how do we make a gigantic leap in animation? And that gravitated us towards our FIFA team, who have an advanced animation system.
"Audio is another thing. And then the other part is rendering and destruction. And destruction is cool, but we said we want to make gameplay-altering destruction, not just destruction for the sake of it. It needs to be, “Okay, I can shoot through that wall and kill someone; I can take away cover."
Finally, he stated that Danger Close wanted to utilize the Frostbite engine for Medal of Honor: Warfighter.
"We take the philosophy on not forcing tech upon anyone. It was basically a desire from that team, when they saw the results of Battlefield, and they saw the results of what that engine could do at the time. I'm not saying [Epic has] a bad engine - I'm just saying comparing the two at the time it was like, 'Okay, we can do more of what we want with the Battlefield/Frostbite engine.'"
The Frostbite 2 engine has also powered Need for Speed: The Run.